Republicans can win with a focus on a "positive agenda," rather than reacting to "what goes on in Washington," former Republican Florida Governor Jeb Bush told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"We win when we focus on a positive agenda. We lose when we react to what goes on in Washington," Jeb Bush, son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush said Thursday.
"Republicans win when we focus on economic growth that creates jobs and reforming how government works, so that more people have a chance to pursue their dreams, as they see fit," he said. "That's the winning message."
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Pointing to the majority of Republican governors and officials who hold office in the states, Bush said the party succeeds when it doesn't overreach.
"I think [Republicans need] to refocus where our strengths are, which are outside of Washington. A majority of the governors are Republican. Most of the officers at the state level are Republican.
"I think all of them probably will get re-elected. And it's because they are focused on those issues, not on overreaching, We can't be against what's in front of Washington, D.C.," he said. "Much of what goes on in Washington is completely irrelevant to the lives of everyday people."
A champion of issues to boost education, Bush chairs the Foundation for Excellence in Education. The group is holding a national summit in Boston to focus on programs and research to raise student achievement.
A primary issue under debate is the controversial Common Core curriculum standards, endorsed by President Barack Obama. The program creates national educational guidelines for public and private schools, as well as home-schoolers.
Bush said there is "a healthy concern about the overreach of the federal government" about the Common Core curriculum. "In the State of the Union address, the president said basically, 'I created a national curriculum.' That's not what this is. These are national standards that are voluntarily created. The curriculum will be created, just as it always has, at the local level."
"No one wants a national curriculum. That's the last thing America needs."
Calling the immigration system "broken," Bush said is in dire need of attention. "It doesn't work. We have a chance to fix this, to allow us to grow again economically — to rebuild the pyramid and re-energize our country in many ways, to restart the entrepreneurial wave that is part of our recovery," he added. "All of this can happen if we had an economically-driven immigration system. That's a conservative idea, and I think it ought to be passed."
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